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1998 Major League Baseball season: Map

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The 1998 Major League Baseball season ended with the New York Yankees defeating the San Diego Padres in Game 4 of the World Series.

The 1998 season was also marked by an expansion to 30 teams (16 in the NL, 14 in the AL), with two new teams–the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the American League–added to the MLB. To keep the leagues with even numbers of teams while allowing both leagues to have a new team, the Milwaukee Brewers were moved from the American League Central Division to the National League Central Division. The Detroit Tigers were shifted from the American League East to the American League Central, while the Devil Rays were added to the American League East. The Diamondbacks were added to the National League West, making the NL have more teams than the AL for the first time.

The biggest story of the season was the historic chase of the single-season home run record held at the time by Roger Maris. Initially, the St. Louis Cardinals' Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners started the season on a pace to both break Maris' record. In June, the chase was joined by the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who broke the decades-old record of Rudy York for most home runs in a calendar month with 20 that month. Eventually, Griffey fell off the record pace, but still ended with 56 homers. Both McGwire and Sosa broke the record in September, with McGwire ultimately finishing with 70 homers to Sosa's 66. McGwire's record would last only three years, with Barry Bonds hitting 73 in . The 1998 season was also the first in MLB history with four players hitting 50 or more homers, with Greg Vaughn of the San Diego Padres hitting 50. In a postscript to the record chase, both McGwire and Sosa have since been widely accused of having used performance-enhancing drugs during that period.

Major League Baseball final standings

 

  • The asterisk denotes the club that won the wild card for its respective league. The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants in a 1-game playoff to determine the NL wild card.


Playoffs





Awards and honors



MLB Statistical Leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Bernie Williams NYY .339 Larry Walker COL .363
HR Ken Griffey, Jr. SEA 56 Mark McGwire STL 70
RBI Juan González TEX 157 Sammy Sosa CHC 158
Wins Roger Clemens1 TOR
David Cone NYY
Rick Helling TEX

20 Tom Glavine ATL 20
ERA Roger Clemens1 TOR 2.65 Greg Maddux ATL 2.22
SO Roger Clemens1 TOR 271 Curt Schilling PHI 300
SV Tom Gordon BOS 46 Trevor Hoffman SDP 53
SB Rickey Henderson OAK 66 Tony Womack PIT 58


1 American League Triple Crown Pitching Winner

Events

January-March











April-June



  • April 2 – By hitting a home run in Colorado's 6–4 win over Arizona at Bank One Ballparkmarker, Rockies outfielder Ellis Burks sets a major league record by having homered in 33 different stadiums.




  • April 10 – The Los Angeles Dodgers' Mike Piazza becomes the fifth NL player in history to hit grand slams in consecutive games by homering in a 7–2 win over the Houston Astros. Piazza also homered with the bags full, while driving in six runs, in last night's 7–2 win over Arizona. He'll hit another on April 24 to tie the major-league record for slams in a month.






  • May 6 – In one of the finest pitching efforts ever, Chicago Cubs rookie right-hander Kerry Wood fans 20 Houston Astros in a 2–0, one-hit victory to tie the major league mark for strikeouts in a 9-inning game. The 20-year-old ties the record held by Roger Clemens, who performed the feat twice. The only Houston baserunners come from an infield single to Ricky Gutiérrez in the 3rd inning and a hit batter. Wood also becomes the second pitcher in baseball history to record a single-game strikeout total equal to his age (in , 17-year-old Bob Feller struck out 17 batters). Wood strikes out the first five batters of the game, and seven in a row between the 7th and 9th innings, tying Jamie Moyer's Cubs record for most consecutive strikeouts.


  • May 11 – In a 4-2 win over Arizona, Kerry Wood strikes out 13 Diamondbacks in seven innings. By doing so, Wood sets a major league record with 33 strikeouts over two consecutive games.


  • May 13 – The Atlanta Braves set an NL record by homering in their 25th straight game, a 10–2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. This ties the major league mark held by the 1941 Yankees and the 1994 Tigers. The streak will be stopped by the Cardinals the next day.








  • May 19 – The Cardinals' Mark McGwire hits three home runs in a game for the second time this season, leading St. Louis to a 10–8 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He is only the 12th player in history to have a pair of 3–HR games in the same season. McGwire drives in six of the Cardinal runs as he reaches the 20 home run mark faster than other player in history.




  • May 25 – Cleveland's David Bell becomes the third player in major league history to play against a team managed by his father. Bell's two–run double brings home the go–ahead run in the Indians 7–4 win over Buddy Bell's Detroit Tigers. Bump Wills and Moisés Alou are the only other players to appear in games against their fathers (Maury Wills and Felipe Alou).


  • May 28 – With Arizona leading the Giants, 8–6, in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, manager Buck Showalter orders reliever Gregg Olson to intentionally walk Barry Bonds to bring home the Giants' 7th run. It is only the 4th bases–loaded intentional walk in major league history, and the first since Bill "Swish" Nicholson on July 23, .




July-September





















  • July 26Trevor Hoffman's bid to set a major league record with 42 straight saves ended when the San Diego closer gives up a home run to Moisés Alou on his first delivery in the ninth inning, tying the game. The Padres defeat Houston 5-4 in the 10th, but Hoffman blows his chance at history.
























  • September 8 - Mark McGwire breaks Roger Maris' 37-year-old home run record, lining historic No. 62 just over the wall in left field with two outs in the fourth inning. McGwire's solo shot off the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel—among the shortest he would hit all year—sets off a wild celebration at Busch Stadiummarker. The Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who hit his 58th home run earlier in the game, is on the field to congratulate McGwire, creating an iconic image of the 1998 home run race. In the sixth inning of the same game, the Cardinals' J.D. Drew makes his major league debut pinch-hitting for pitcher Kent Mercker.




  • September 15Ken Griffey, Jr. hits homer #52 and drives in the 1,000th run of his career in the Mariners' 12–7 win over the Minnesota Twins. He becomes the fourth–youngest player in history to reach the milestone, after Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig. A day later, Griffey would collect his 20th stolen base of the season to become just the third player in major league history to record at least 50 homers and 20 steals in the same season; Willie Mays and Brady Anderson are the others.
























  • September 27 – In the St. Louis Cardinals' final game of the season, Mark McGwire hits two home runs against the Montreal Expos for the second straight night, establishing a new MLB record with 70 home runs in a season. Sammy Sosa fails to hit a home run in the Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros, leaving him at 66 homers. However, the Cubs' loss forces a one-game playoff with the San Francisco Giants for the National League wild card, giving Sosa one final chance to reach McGwire.


  • September 27 – In the San Diego Padres' final regular season game, left fielder Greg Vaughn hits his 50th home run of the season, a career high and a San Diego Padres record for home runs in a season. This marks the first time in major league history that four players – Vaughn (50), Griffey (56), Sosa (66) and McGwire (70) – hit at least 50 home runs in the same season. Also during this game, Trevor Hoffman records his 53rd save of the season, tying the National League record set by the Cubs' Randy Myers in 1993.


  • September 27 – The New York Yankees win their seventh-straight game, defeating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-3. The Yankees finish the season with an American League record 114 wins.


  • September 27 – In recording his first-ever Major League win, a 2-1 decision over the Detroit Tigers at the Skydomemarker, Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays, a week removed from his Major League debut, has what would have been the second no-hitter in Blue Jay history broken up by a Bobby Higginson home run with two out in the ninth, the only hit he will allow. The no-hitter also would have been the third to be pitched on the final day of a regular season, joining the combination of Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers in and Mike Witt's perfect game in . The home run ball is caught, ironically, by Dave Stieb, himself a three-time victim of a no-hitter being broken up with two out in the ninth (his last two starts of the season and a perfect game bid in ) before finally pitching the Blue Jays' only no-hitter to date, in .




October-December



  • Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves wins his second National League Cy Young Award in an extremely close vote over two San Diego Padres pitchers: Trevor Hoffman and Kevin Brown. Glavine, who receives 11 first-place votes to Hoffman's 13 (Brown receives the remaining 8), becomes the first National League pitcher since the league instituted its four-vote system in 1970 to win the award despite receiving fewer first-place votes than another player. Glavine tallied 99 points (Hoffman - 88, Brown - 76), with 5 points being awarded for each first place vote, 3 for each second-place vote, 2 for third, and 1 for fourth. Another oddity is the fact that Hoffman, Brown, and Rod Beck (who did not receive a single point in the Cy Young Award voting) finished higher than Glavine in the MVP voting, despite Glavine's Braves finishing with the best record in the National League.[488133]






  • December 12 – The Dodgers set the salary bar higher by signing free agent Kevin Brown to a 7-year, $105 million contract, the largest in the majors.


Deaths

January-April

May-August

September-December

References




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